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sailorpilot. sight unseen it sounds like the po has been paying attention to the big things (sails, rigging) and that's usually a good sign. Whether the stove works isn't a stopper, you may have just missed a safety shut-off switch or a valve, in any case that's "just plumbing" of the repairable sort.
Reefing and heading up by 20 knots is also not unusual. If you can get hold of the VPPs for that boat from another owner, or in the worst case buy them from USSA, you'll get a better idea of what are the optimum points to reef at. The loft that made the last set of sails may also have some ideas and experience on that. MANY boats actually heel less and sail faster with a first reef in the main and jib down to 100% by 15 knots or so. How the N33 compares, I don't know, you'd have to ask around but it sounds reasonable.